Sberbank and VisionLabs to build biometric identification platform

Nov 17, 2017

November 17, 2017, Moscow Sberbank announces the signing of a deal to acquire a block of shares in VisionLabs, a global leader of the facial recognition market. The transaction will result in Sberbank receiving a 25.07% stake in the company, with the remaining stake belonging to the company’s founders and venture fund Sistema_VC. The transaction was conducted through Sberbank’s internal structure – the Digital Business Development Administration, which is in charge of developing business of the bank’s ecosystem.

The investment in VisionLabs is a major first step by Sberbank to build a biometrics platform of Sberbank’s ecosystem, involving face, voice and retina identification, as well as other biometric factors. After a series of tests and pilots of the VisionLabs LUNA platform, the decision was made to use it as the foundation for the identification platform. This will allow the creation of a unique biometric identifier that will let Sberbank clients access any service. The biometric platform will be used within Sberbank’s ecosystem and also be available to the wider market.

The deal will support the development of VisionLabs projects on international markets, including Europe, the US and Asia. The parties to the deal reached an agreement on the future involvement of a potential international strategic investor as one of the company’s shareholders.

“The project team has achieved very impressive results and was able to not only create one of the best technologies in the world, but also a product and a solution that have proved themselves in practice and already occupy a large share of the banking biometrics market in Russia and the CIS,” commented First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank Lev Khasis. “Technology based on the VisionLabs platform is a world leader, both in terms of international testing and the results of extensive internal tests and pilots carried out by Sberbank.”

“For us this deal with Sberbank is paramount recognition of our achievements,” commented founder and CEO of VisionLabs Alexander Khanin. “Together with such partners we are building Russia’s largest biometric platform and similar large-scale projects in the financial sector, retail, insurance, advertising, and access control and security.”

“One of the first investments made by Sistema_VC shows that the Russian market has unique teams that are gaining broad recognition in big business throughout the world and are helping change the industry and industry standards for customer service. Sistema_VC venture fund invested in VisionLabs in July 2016,” commented President of JSFC Sistema’s venture fund Alexey Katkov. “We are delighted that thanks to our support the company has been able to upscale its operations and receive a massive opportunity to apply its technology in the world of business. At the same time, the structure of the deal allows the company’s founders to retain control.”